Marvel Legends Icons - Series 3
Spider-Man - Variant (Unmasked)
Did one of ToyBiz' last Icons variants go out with a bang or a whimper? Do the quality issues out weigh the coolness of the figure? Let's take a look.
ToyBiz sure had their hands full with handling arguably the most popular comic book character ever and his unmasked likeness, possibly due in part to the recent unmasking in the Civil War comic books. This figure is a welcome addition to the collection of Icons, except there are a couple huge nagging issues, read on to find out.
Sculpt / Design
The figure looks great. If I could compare Peter Parker's likeness to that of it's source, I would. Regardless of the fact that every artist draws him differently, which makes it difficult to pinpoint the inspired material, I think this head sculpt and likeness looks great. There isn't even the slightest instance that I think, wow he looks weird, or hmmm you know I think this is off, etc. The costume is right on as usual. The mask hanging loosely around his neck is great, I loved it when they started doing this with Marvel Legends Series 12's Astonishing X-Men Wolverine. The webs are even sculpted on this as well as the entire rest of the body. Top notch sculpt and design. I give this category a perfect score.
Paint / Color
Reds and blues look perfect to me. Paint apps on the costume are just right, bringing out the details, not heavy, blotchy or sloppy at all. Hair color is just right. I unfortunately am having to take just one little point off of the score for the eyebrows. When you look at the face closely, you'll see that the brown paint over the eyebrows does not cover the entirety of the sculpted lines for the eyebrows. Since this is the face, it is most important to have it just right.
Here, the figure is quite lacking. I don't know if they lost range of motion due to production shrink or expanding from the original mold, but the chest / shoulder articulation is useless. They look like Spider-Man Series 12 6" Super-Poseable Wall-Crawling Spider-Man's chest / shoulder articulation that give you very useful and awesome poseability but they are not. There really is no movement, just play. You get about 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch of play forward and backward with the chest / shoulder joint. Useless. If it didn't work, then why even bother? It's like be offered something and then having it taken away. Enough of that and on to the real issue. You cannot rotate the ball hips forward on this figure. I tried and I tried, short of actually trying to intentionally break the figure. Those hip joints will not move forward so that you can put Spider-Man in any sort of kneeling or crouching position. I have heard this complaint from everyone I know who has this figure. Quality control! Lastly, the knees are weak right out of the package. I don't know if it was due to how he was inserted into the plastic or the weak plastic that they used for his knees or both, look at the pictures, both of his knees are slanted to his left. He looks like an idiot now. Quality control! The score here suffers the consequences.
Icons are a still a good value. Especially when compared to rotocast (hollow) figures like the Amazing Spider-Man 12" figures. It's hard to resist that big bulky, solid, heavy figure. They are double the price of 6" figures minus a dollar (depending on which store you pick them up from). Comes with a nice glossy full color poster book.
Sculpt / Design: 10
Paint / Color: 9
Overall: 28 out of a possible 40
Does the terrible articulation and the defective nature of the hips out weigh the aesthetic awesomeness of this figure? I say... ehhh... a hesitant no. Just barely, no. He is a variant after all and that means, hey look, this one is cooler than that one, no? Besides, the execution of the unmasked Spider-Man was pulled off really well. If you like to keep these things in the package, then the poor articulation is null and the figure is perfect. If you are a kid and / or if you like to pose him all kinds of crazy ways then he is not so perfect.